Our saliva glands work hard everyday to keep our mouths moist and wash away food particles before they can help to create cavity causing bacteria.  Saliva also assists the digestive system by neutralizing the acids in the foods that we eat and decreasing our risk for acid reflux.  Saliva contains the calcium and phosphorus necessary to strengthen our teeth.

Obviously saliva plays an important role in maintaining our overall oral health.  Xerostomia is the condition that results when there is a lack of adequate saliva.  It is more commonly referred to as “dry mouth,” and can be a result of certain diseases and/or the medications that are prescribed to treat them.  

The aging process per se does not bring on dry mouth but as we get older our salivary glands do tend to be less productive.  We can help them along by chewing sugarless gum, eating ripe, juicy fresh fruits and crisp vegetables and of course, drinking plenty of water.  
Be aware that alcoholic beverages can be a factor in causing dry mouth.  The alcohol content of some mouthwashes can also contribute to the condition.  Check labels before you buy.

If preventive methods aren’t effective in producing a sufficient supply of saliva your dentist will take extra precautions to protect your teeth from the harmful effects of dry mouth.

The best way to identify an oral health problem and deal with it promptly is to have regular dental checkups.  Call the Harman Family Dental Center in Parker @ 720-809-7789.